Sir Richard Branson has called for plans to ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to be brought forward.

Speaking about the current deadline to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040, he says the deadline must be brought forward to 2025, in line with other European countries.

The founder of Virgin funds a team in Formula E, the motorsport leading the way in new technologies for electric cars.

“I honestly think that we’ve got to bring everything forward because there are concerns that we could actually have sea levels rising by over 100ft if we lose a big chunk of the Antarctic.”

In March, we posted about a response from Graeme Cooper, the National Grid’s director of electric vehicles. Cooper supported a closer deadline, claiming it was “Absolutely, no problem at all.” He mentioned 2030 is still far enough away for the National Grid to prepare and said that the firm would support a new deadline if it was brought forward.

The Energy Networks Association agreed that “if the target was brought forward, energy networks are ready to deliver”, however, it was not so confident as the National grid to offer its backing for an earlier deadline.

Roads minister Jesse Norman says 2040 is a “sensible compromise”.

According to BBC Newsbeat, Sir Richard claimed “every month the technology is getting better and better”.

“The teams want to be the best out there, so they’re pushing for improvements in battery technology.

“That will mean that when more cars are driving on batteries, they’ll be able to go hopefully a few hundred miles rather than maybe 150 or 200.”

Sir Richard believes pushing the deadline forward, in line with the likes of Norway and the Netherlands, is the right move.

“I honestly think we’ve got to bring everything forward because there are concerns that we could actually have sea levels rising by over 100ft if we lose a big chunk of the Antarctic.”

“Therefore we’ve got to move the process of moving to clean energy quicker than most governments around the world are doing.”

There are currently 32 million cars on Britain’s roads and huge investment is required for them all to be charged.

Audi, Jaguar and Renault have all signed up to Formula E, as increasing pressure is placed on manufacturers. Mercedes Benz and Porsche are set to join the Championship, one of the few big changes happening in the future.
Sir Branson says: “There is absolutely no way that we could have the infrastructure for 32 million cars being charged at the same time – so we’ll have to change the way we think about fuelling our cars.”

Roads minister Jesse Norman says there won’t be 32 million electric cars on the streets at once – only new cars will be required to be made electric.

Not much has surfaced regarding what the 2040 deadline means for drivers. The government says more information on its plans is imminent.

Read the BBC Newsbeat article here.

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